Former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno passed away earlier today, age 78. My years as a young Justice Department lawyer, from 1994-1998, were all under her watch, a time that I have many fond memories of. (I served in the Environment and Natural Resources Division, under AAG Lois Schiffer then.) Reno set an example of integrity and fairness for all DOJ attorneys, and I was proud to have been a part of DOJ then.
On my last day at the Justice Department (in June 1998), Reno was kind enough to spend a little time with me and my wife Tinling in a private meeting, both to chat and to learn a little about where my next job was going to take me — which happened to be the start of my academic career at Vermont Law School. I still remember how friendly and warm she was, even though at the time I was just a young and insignificant staff lawyer. The world is a little poorer without her.
Below is the official photo. Unfortunately, our own photos of Tinling and I with Reno are somewhere in storage.